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May 24, 2006

Comments

eli

John was always one of my favorite characters. The creepy molester is such an easy shorthand in modern fiction -- childhood trauma, just add water. Not to take anything away from actual trauma, but I liked that some creepiness could exist within the context of an actual life, and could emerge from common human loneliness.

Stendahl/Evenson's mirror analogy is a good one, but I think Yannick may have something with the "don't look at the soup" response. Temporal twistiness or whatever, I think one of the most important challenges is to think simultaneously as a writer (or editor, I guess) and a reader. To know everything and forget everything, In control and along for the ride. Different writers approach this very differently, I think.

Here's a question: Yannick and I talked for a while about whether the book had a climax, and whether it needed one. We eventually added a scene that filled that role for us, but I don't know if anyone actually reads it that way. Does anyone see a climax? Do all books need some sort of climax?

Dan Wickett

I'm not sure I read this as having one, but I certainly do NOT think all books need climaxes.

Not that I don't like books that do, I just have enjoyed a few that don't just as much.

YannickMurphy

If I think in terms of novels having to have climaxes then I'm going to deflate my own story before I even begin to tell it. Maybe the climax comes from the progression and the pressure of events and the images surrounding them. What Eli suggested I do to achieve the effect of a climax was pretty subtle. It grew out of what came before it in the writing. It was always hiding in the writing, just waiting for someone to come along and let it rise to the surface. But, I do agree with Dan, I'll go along for the ride whether there's an obvious climax or not in a novel. Here's a thought, is it possible that there doesn't have to be a climax on the page, but the climax itself is born when the reader later plays the scenes/images back in his/her head and understands the scope of what the writer was trying to achieve? Just a thought.

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